The second of the two mandatory deviations that must be taken into consideration when calculating child support in Georgia is the Work Related Child Care Expense deviation. As mentioned in our article entitled “Mandatory Deviations from Presumptive Child Support Amount,” this deviation, along with the Health Insurance deviation, are the two deviations that must be made to the presumptive child support amount in order to derive the appropriate child support amount to be paid by the non-custodial parent.
According to Georgia’s Companion Guide to the Child Support Worksheet and Schedules, work related child care costs are “expenses for the care of the child for whom support is being determined which are due to employment of either parent.” Additionally, child care costs incurred while a parent is searching of reemployment or costs associated with educational training necessary for a parent to obtain a job or increase his or her earning potential may also be viewed as work related child care costs for the purpose of the child support calculation. See O.C.G.A. §§19-6-15(h)(1)(A) and 19-6-15(a)(24). However, before an adjustment to the presumptive child support amount may be made based on a parent’s asserted work related child care costs, the presiding judge must determine that the expenses are appropriate given the parent’s relative financial abilities. Id. If deemed appropriate, the work related child care costs will be reflected in the child support calculation and either adjust the non-custodial parent’s child support obligation upward or downward depending on the parent paying the child care costs.
As with the deviation or adjustment based on health insurance premiums paid by either parent, the Work Related Child Care Expense deviation is also found in Schedule D of Georgia’s Child Support Worksheet. Specifically, this deviation is listed on line 1 of Schedule D and is titled “Child Care Expenses necessary for parent’s employment, education or vocational training.”
As is noted in the notes in line 1 of Schedule D, the average amount paid by each parent monthly for work related child care costs should be reflected in the appropriate fields. To populate these fields, it is necessary to complete Supplemental Table 1, which is also found in Schedule D. A graphic example and explanation of this table is below.
If work related child care expense are paid by the Mother, the total yearly amount of these expense should be listed in lines 2 through 5 of the Supplemental Table, depending on the type of expense paid. Not only should the total yearly child care expenses be separated by type of expense, (i.e. amounts paid during school year, summer break or school breaks), but the amounts should also be separated according to which child the expenses should be attribute to. Each child is represented by his or her own column. The yearly amounts paid by the father should be listed in lines 8 through 11. Once these expenses are listed, the annual amounts entered will then be automatically prorated between the parents and converted to a monthly amount, and this monthly amount will be reflected in lines 7 and 13. The amounts reflected in lines 7 and 13 will in turn automatically populate the appropriate fields in line 1 of Schedule D.
Similar to the Health Insurance Deviation, the Work Related Child Care Expense deviation not a “dollar for dollar” deviation, but is also an adjustment made to the presumptive child support amount based on the parent’s pro rata share of the total child support obligation. To obtain a downloadable version of Georgia’s Child Support Calculator, visit the Georgia Child Support Commission’s website. To learn more about child support in Georgia, Georgia’s Child Support Worksheet, or how to complete a child support worksheet, see our articles addressing these topics.